Importance of Stretching

Lower Back StretchAbdominal StretchHip Flexor Stretch

Increases in societies sedentary lifestyles mean we are becoming less and less active, inactivity can lead to muscle stiffness, weakness and imbalances, which can have a negative impact on daily life.

Low back and neck pain are among of the most common outcomes of poor flexibility and poor working postures. We are sitting at our desks for longer, therefore maintaining postures for extended periods, which can subsequently reduce flexibility in certain muscles and increase length in others creating imbalance. it is important to not only asses seated posture but to perform regular stretching exercises to minimise pain and dysfunction.

Reductions in flexibility can have a negative impact on performance, a reduction in gastrocnemius (calf) muscle length and dorsiflexion (Toe towards the knee) can increase the need for hip flexion to lift the knee higher so the foot can clear the ground, therefore placing additional stress on those muscles, which subsequently increases stress on the lateral hip and lower back. Pain may not necessarily show in the gastrocnemius or ankle, but may present in the hip and/or lower back. Like all methods of training flexibility should form part of an overall program.

Sports such as running may appear not to have massive range of motion requirements, however research has demonstrated that it may not be large single joint range required but the combination of joints working together. Gait (walking/running) forms one of the most complex series of actions that the body goes through. performing a stretching routine following all exercise sessions will limit the risk of further imbalance, therefore reducing the likelihood of injury.

This Stretching Program is a general list of stretches that will cover all aspects of the core and legs. For more information on the types of stretching you should be doing and when please contact us on info@sportsinjuryscotland.co.uk also if you are struggling with an injury and would like an appointment, please call 0141 2214300

References

Glynn, A. and Fiddler, H. (2009). The Physiotherapists Pocket Guide to Exercise: Assessment, Prescription and Training. Churchill and Livingston, China.

O’Hora, J., Cartwright, A., Wade, C. D., Hough, A. D. and Shum, G. L. K. (2011). Efficacy of static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretch on hamstring length after a single session. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(6), 1586-1591.

Chen, C. H., Nosaka, K, Chen, H. L., Lin, M. J., Tseng, K. W. and Chen, T. C. (2011). Effects of flexibility training on eccentric exercise muscle damage. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 43(3), 491-500.

Perrier, E. T., Pavol, M. J. and Hoffman, M. A. (2011). The acute effects of a warm up including static or dynamic stretching on counter movement jump height, reaction time and flexibility. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(7), 1925-1931.

Wong, D. P., Chaouachi, A., Lau, P. W. C. and Behm, D. G. (2011). Short durations of static stretching when combined with dynamic stretching do not impair repeated sprints and agility. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 10, 408-416.

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